on June 14th 2016
Genres: Fantasy (YA)
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“I think, in time, you’ll either be my greatest mistake or my greatest victory.”
Former witch hunter Elizabeth Grey is hiding within the magically protected village of Harrow, evading the price put on her head by Lord Blackwell, the usurper king of Anglia. Their last encounter left Blackwell ruined, but his thirst for power grows stronger every day. He’s readying for a war against those who would resist his rule—namely Elizabeth and the witches and wizards she now calls her allies.
Having lost her stigma, a magical source of protection and healing, Elizabeth’s strength is tested both physically and emotionally. War always means sacrifice, and as the lines between good and evil blur once more, Elizabeth must decide just how far she’ll go to save those she loves.
This is BOOK 2 of a duology. Read the review for the first book here. This review is spoiler-free/any spoilers are hidden.
Going into reading this book, I didn’t remember a lot. I didn’t do a reread and I didn’t read my review of the first book, so I definitely forgot a lot of the small details that happened in the first one.
With that said, it did a good job at reminding you of the main details within the first two chapters. So, if you’re a little lost at first, just keep reading because it will all come back to you.
I enjoyed the plot for the most part with this one. I found some of the middle ground to be slow, but overall, it was enjoyable. There were a lot more character change and development but still had plenty of the action scenes and plot twists that I loved from The Witch Hunter with Boeckers fast-paced and entertaining writing. I also absolutely love how this book ends. This is a duology and the way Boecker ended this is so well-rounded. I was definitely satisfied.
Elizabeth is a much different character in this book because of how the first one ended. She’s not as independent and has to learn that she needs to trust her allies and friends to accomplish what she wants. I still enjoyed her character, but something I loved about her from the first one (being so independent and kick-ass) just wasn’t there as much in this one. It’s not a bad thing, she’s showing progression, but it was a bit of a disappointment.
I also wanted so much more of Fifer. She was one of my favorite secondary characters from The Witch Hunter but she played such a small role in The King Slayer. However, there is a new character introduced that sort of fills that gap I was feeling without Fifer there. Also, I just found out there is a novella all about her, so I can’t wait to read that one!
Otherwise, I felt a little disconnected from the other characters and that has to do with another change between this book and the first one: the romance.
There was a romance in this first book, of course there was, but it definitely didn’t play a huge role. Looking back at my review for The Witch Hunter I literally said:
“It was just an afterthought for me, I kind of went “oh yeah, he’s still there” when the romance would show up.”
I then went on to compare it to a Peeta-Katniss-Gale sort of dynamic. Well, The King Slayer had a Peeta-Katniss-Gale-Bob sort of dynamic. It wasn’t exactly a love-square, but there were definite hints at feelings.
That said, the focus was still on one young man, which is fine. He’s a good character, but again, what I liked about The Witch Hunter was that there wasn’t a huge focus on the romance and in The King Slayer it played a major role in the plot. Not bad, just different and not what I was expecting.
Also, and this is a spoiler: View Spoiler »I don’t think this book handled the issue of Elizabeth being a mistress well. In TWH, Elizabeth is the King’s mistress. It’s addressed early on how sex makes her feel uncomfortable because of the unwanted sex she had with the King. But then, when the King shows up again, he becomes a sympathetic character. He says he was wrong, he didn’t understand what he was doing then, and she forgives him – easily. He may have thought they had an actual relationship, but she didn’t, so it bothers me that she doesn’t stand up for herself at all. This is problematic to me. « Hide Spoiler
Overall, I would say that I enjoyed The Witch Hunter more just because The King Slayer doesn’t have a lot of the things I loved from the first one. It also deals with Elizabeth/Marcus’ relationship in a way that I found to be problematic – though, I don’t know if everyone will see it that way. With that said, the story is fast-paced, has quite a few good characters, and a romance that you’ll probably swoon over. It is a combination for a good fantasy novel with an ending that will make you feel all sorts of emotions and appreciate the well-rounded wrap-up.
|Overall:||3 / 5|